Although I am no longer a member of the group I do believe that the Big Book of AA has a lot of useful information. During my twenties I spent quite a lot of time in AA meetings. These days I do not use a support group, but that does not mean I completely dismiss what they have to say. I look for tools that will help make my life better; I’m not so concerned about where these tools come from but that they actually work. There is a lot of good advice in this book from AA.
I have found that the AA Big Book still has a lot of relevance to my life. I haven’t read it in a few years but the fact that I previously read it hundreds of times, and heard it read thousands of times, means that it is easy to recall the text. I don’t agree with everything contained in the pages. Members claim that it is not associated with any particular religion, but the strong Christian influence and assumptions are quite obvious throughout the book. I do believe that the original writers did try to make it open to everyone though.
One of the most useful things in the Big Book is the talk about acceptance. I do agree that it is a failure to accept life on life’s terms that is the cause of many of my problems. For years any sign that life wasn’t going my way would be the perfect excuse for alcoholic oblivion. These days I know that the problem is never my life, but how I react to life. When a problem occurs I just try and accept it and work to fix it – If it can’t be fixed then I need to learn to live with it.
Another tremendously important idea in the AA Big Book is letting go. I have grown to accept that karma will take me where I need to be. If I do good then good things will happen. All I have to do is have trust in the process and believe that it will take me where I need to be. This trust can be sometimes hard to maintain, but when I have it my life is wonderful and free of worry.
The story behind the AA Big Book is very appealing. The idea of Bill W and Dr Bob coming together to help each other escape addiction is touching. The fact that their meeting led to the growth of Alcoholics Anonymous is impressive. The stories in the book gave me hope that it was possible to not only escape addiction but to also have a wonderful life in recovery; this turned out to a reality for me.
I do not view the AA Big Book as some type of addict’s bible. The members AA who answer everything with a quote from the book make me a bit uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want that for myself. I believe there is wisdom in many books and the Big Book is just one of these. There is no doubt in my mind though that there is a lot of good stuff in the AA book.